Portuguese fest on tap for weekend 

Tim Platt, left, of Bethlehem and John DeCampos Jr. of Naugatuck cook up chickens at the Sao Paio Feast at the Portuguese Club in Naugatuck in 2014. This year’s festival is Labor Day weekend. -RA ARCHIVE

Tim Platt, left, of Bethlehem and John DeCampos Jr. of Naugatuck cook up chickens at the Sao Paio Festival at the Portuguese Club in Naugatuck in 2014. This year’s festival is Labor Day weekend. -RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — As summer begins to wrap up, the Naugatuck Portuguese Club is planning one more party.

The club is hosting its 66th annual Sao Paio Festival this weekend.

“For the people of Naugatuck, it’s the unofficial end of summer block party. The summer vacations are over, the youth are back to school — one last fun weekend before the days get cooler and cooler and the days get shorter,” club member Flora Keefe said.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. on Friday when Keefe will be honored as Naugatuck’s Portuguese mayor of the day during a ceremony at Town Hall. The festivities will then head to the club at 110 Rubber Ave. for a weekend full of food, dancing and live music each night.

Special events planned include a children’s traditional Portuguese folklore wear contest Saturday at 5 p.m. followed by a folklore dancing exhibition at 7 p.m. On Sunday, the festival begins at 11:30 a.m. with mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Waterbury.

The 42nd annual Sao Paio 5K road race will kick off Saturday morning.

Race day registration and race packet pickup will take place at the club 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. Registration fees are $28.50 for runners, $18.20 for student runners, and $18.20 for walkers. All of the proceeds from the race will benefit the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls.

The festival was started in 1950 by the ladies auxiliary branch of the club. After more than six decades, the festival is a steadfast tradition in the borough.

“To me, it’s the celebration of my Portuguese heritage and the traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. The sights and sounds of the people gathering together, the smells of the food cooking out on the grills and in the kitchens,” Keefe said.

For more information, call the club at 203-729-6894.

The following is a schedule of events for the 66rd annual Feast of Sao Paio Festival provided by the Naugatuck Portuguese Club:

Friday

10 a.m.: Opening ceremonies and Mayor of the Day presentation, Naugatuck Town Hall

7-11 p.m.: Music by GT

Saturday

7:30 a.m.: Registration for Sao Paio 5K Road Race at Portuguese Club, 110 Rubber Ave.

9 a.m.: Sao Paio 5K Road Race

5 p.m.: Children’s Traditional Portuguese Folklore Wear Contest at club

7 p.m.: Folklore dancing exhibition at club

9 p.m.: Music by Sem Duvida

Sunday

11:30 a.m.: Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church on Baldwin Street in Waterbury.

12 p.m.: Lunch (Almoco de Dobrado) will be served at the Portuguese Club.

6 p.m.: Music by Tropical Duo